Tacoma Narrows Bridge bike path opens Saturday

Washington State Department of Transportation announced this week that the much-anticipated bicycle and pedestrian path on the south side of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge will be open for public use on Sat., Nov. 17.
The 10-foot-wide, barrier-separated path will permanently accommodate all foot and bicycle traffic across the Narrows. Although the path will be open, users are cautioned that design-builder Tacoma Narrows Constructors (TNC) will still have some equipment and personnel on the sidewalk as they continue to work on the new bridge.
To access the path on the east (Tacoma) side of the bridge, bicyclists and pedestrians may bicycle or walk through War Memorial Park off 6th Avenue. They will cross Jackson Avenue and travel on a paved path along the outside of the SR 16 eastbound exit to Jackson Avenue. Two benches have been installed to provide rest areas between the top of Jackson Avenue and the east end of the bridge.
On the west (Gig Harbor) side of the bridge, bicyclists and pedestrians will have two access points. The first access point is along the outside of the eastbound SR 16 on-ramp at 24th Street NW. The second access point is farther east, off Stone Drive. Concurrent with opening the new bicycle/pedestrian path, WSDOT will permanently close both sidewalks on the 1950 bridge.
Traffic shifts will also occur this weekend as crews prepare to remove and replace bridge rail along the north side of the old bridge. At 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, crews working for TNC will reduce westbound SR 16 to one lane across the old bridge. At 8 a.m. Sunday, November 18, they will open the bridge to two westbound lanes, and at 2 p.m. Sunday the bridge will open to three westbound lanes. Motorists are advised to expect delays during this work.
The SR 16 left westbound lane will continue to be restricted to high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) traffic. The far right lane will remain closed around the clock through February 2008.
To see a map of the permanent bicycle route, http://www.visit wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr16narrowsbridge/images/bikepath2.pdf .
For more information on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge project, visit tacomanarrowsbridge.com or http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr16narrowsbridge/ .